Welcome! Here are the website rules, as well as some tips for using this forum.
Need to contact us? Visit https://heatinghelp.com/contact-us/.
Click here to Find a Contractor in your area.

I got to watch some radiant floor with a FLIR, IR camera

hr Member Posts: 6,106
It was a Watts Radiant SubRay, above floor system. The local utility has a new FLIR (forward looking infa red) camera. They now own two $70,000.00 units. One is a long wave, the other a short wave. Apparantly one works better outdoors where they use it most for checking pole transformers and wire splices. They had both cameras filming as they trained a "new guy".

The newest camera has software that allows them to put all the data on a CD instead of needing the special OEM software to view it. I got to hold and view through the camera as they filmed. I hope Watts radiant will share a copy of the CD when they recieve it.

One real interesting, but fairly predictable observation. The SubRay syatem uses baltic birch strips to form a 2" channel for the pex tube to lie in.

Foil tape is placed in the groove, then the tube. They have an optional galvanized metal channel that is 2" wide to fit over the tube. This is designed to act as a transfer plate, of sorts. It sure helps for protecting against nail punctures :)

Anyways, there was a section of floor where thy had shot a tube on the loop end. They had the channels removed so I could make the repair when we arrived.

The room temperature was about 63 degrees and the system was shut down to allow the repair. As they were filming I placed the cool galvanized channel over the tube as I turned that zone back on. I had the boiler suppling 130° temperature to the radiant zoned.

Interestingly I placed my hand on that galv plate as the system ramped up. The channel plate was perhaps 3 feet long.
What I felt and the camera recorded was the way the plate warmed. In some spot the plate got warm within minutes. Maybe 12" or so further down the plate stayed cool!

What I suspect happens is the pex lifts up and touches the galv channel in some places, but not others. It tool about 25- 30 minutes for the plate to warm from end to end consistently. This again proves to me first hand, and duely recorded, that even a small conduction contact point like tht makes a huge difference in heat transfer!

The camera operator noted that even through the finished maple hardwood flooing she could these hot spots where the tube must have been in contact with the plates.

It will be interesting to watch an extended video of this system coming up to temperature. I suspect after an hours run time or more the plates will even out due to the conduction of the metal. The galv plates that I placed my hand on did even out after 1/2 hour of run time.

Not all of the installation used the galv channels. it will be interesting to compare the various areas with, and without, the channels.

hot rod

<A HREF="http://www.heatinghelp.com/getListed.cfm?id=144&Step=30">To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"</A>


  • Weezbo
    Weezbo Member Posts: 6,232
    I wonder....monday i will see if my buddy has one at the

    local utility company....the distribution along the aluminium ,that you observed might be from the expansion rate of the tubing at the first "connection" points of the plates....then as a product over time as the expansion of the tube increases the actual surface area of the tube to plate increases<...--? *~/:)
  • hr
    hr Member Posts: 6,106

    of the surface has a lot to do with the "view" the camera sees. In this case the camera operator had me place a piec of paper over the shiney galvanized plate to get a better reading.

    The kitchen had a black, high gloss tile. The camera would actually see reflections of the people standing in the room on the floor surface! Like ghosts on the floor. Pretty wild stuff. It takes a skilled operator to be able to know and adjust the camera and view to get accurate readings.

    Deanetta pointed the camera at my feet and said "you have steel toed shoes on don't you?"

    I wonder if she could see through my clothes with that thing :)

    hot rod

    To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
  • Matt J.
    Matt J. Member Posts: 13
    Hot Rod

    our local utility company recently came to our shop which has radiant infloor. apparently this is there second unit and they need to log time on it to be certified on it. of course I happened to be out of town on a job and miss out on it, I was put out to say the least. One of the operators showed how it would pick up the heat that your hand had left on the wall! neat stuff to say the least! Matt J.
  • rb_6
    rb_6 Member Posts: 222
    Have you seen this technology?

    This is the neat stuff we've been posting in our blog...

    The photo credit belongs to Dr. Gary Settles from Penn State University... cut and paste this link to contact him for further details or additional pictures.

  • Jim_19
    Jim_19 Member Posts: 31
    human anatomy

    "Deanetta pointed the camera at my feet and said "you have steel toed shoes on don't you?". I wonder if she could see through my clothes with that thing."

    hot rod

    It's very common in training sessions to scan the folks who pass by. You would be amazed at the temperature differences in various segments of the human anatomy. Especially when the heavy winter outerlayers are no longer required.

    You'd also be amazed at how many people go "commando" in public.
  • Brad_3
    Brad_3 Member Posts: 24
    Conduction spots

    I've found pretty much the same with my Pex in plywood grooves covered with flat Aluminum sheet. When heating up from cold there are definite warm spots and cool spots. As it reaches equilibrium, the heat is spread out somewhat, but we have only laminate flooring over the aluminum sheet, so it's still noticeable where the conduction spots are.
  • Brad_3
    Brad_3 Member Posts: 24

    That the tubing is spaced too far apart, metal with good contact is important, and metal more than a few inches away from the tube is not so important. But it's a very low loss house so it works OK.
This discussion has been closed.